The Emerson String Quartet, also known as the Emerson Quartet, is a professional string ensemble – in residence at the Stony Brook University. The musical ensemble was previously in residence at The Hartt School located in West Hartford, Connecticut. Choosing American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson as namesake, the quartet formed at the Juilliard School as a student ensemble. They turned professional in 1976, with both of their violinists having studied under the tutelage of the renowned Oscar Shumsky, alternating as first and second violinists. When it was formed, the Emerson Quartet was one of the first with the two violinists alternating chairs.
The Emerson Quartet was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010. As of May 2014, they have released more than thirty albums and won nine Grammy Awards, as well as the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize.